The Mexican musical tradition is one of the richest and coarsest in Latin America — but few are likely to know the story of Ángela Peralta.
This July 6, Google Doodle pays tribute to Mexican soprano, composer, pianist, and harpist, Ángela Peralta. Born in 1845, Peralta made her debut as a singer at age eight and trained as a musician at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City.
Thanks to her operatic debut in the role of Leonora in Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Peralta would gain financial support from her patron, Santiago de la Vega, to study singing in Leopardi’s Italy.
From the 1960s on, Ángela Peralta would sing in all the most important theaters in Europe — from Rome to St. Petersburg, Alexandria, and Cairo.
After the fall of the Second Mexican Empire, Peralta married and settled in Madrid; although she temporarily retired from the theater stage, she continued to compose songs.
During a visit to Mexico in 1871, she established her own traveling opera company. Still, her affair with a Mexican lawyer and businessman before the death of her first husband would cost her the affection and respect of audiences.
However, her final tour of 1883 would prove to be redhibitory, with the port city of Mazatlán as the setting for her return to the arms of her followers. Despite the celebration and elaborate welcome, the yellow fever epidemic would rob her of her life, along with almost her entire company.
Ángela Peralta died at the Iturbide Hotel in Mazatlán at the age of 38 on August 30, 1883.